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33 CHAPTER six CONCLUSIONS INTRODUCTION ees, distributing fare media, handling other financial arrangements). The role of public employee unions in This chapter summarizes findings and presents conclusions the program is minimal, with some exceptions. Public from this synthesis project, and offers suggestions for future employers are heavily involved in publicizing the pro- study. Findings from the surveys and particularly the case gram to their employees. studies provide an assessment of factors contributing to the Program benefits (primarily fare media) are distributed success or failure of public employer fare programs. The to employees in a variety of ways. The most frequently chapter is organized in five sections: mentioned means of distribution are at the employer's centralized location, at the employer's branch loca- Program Goals and Implementation tions, and by means of mail. Agency Assessment of Public Employee Fare Marketing activity is greatest when the program is Programs implemented, and spikes when a new employer joins Lessons Learned--Survey Respondents the program. Ongoing marketing efforts are character- Lessons Learned--Case Studies ized as minor or moderate during the first year of the Conclusion and Suggestions for Future Study program and as minor thereafter. Additional training is required for personnel involved in program adminis- The suggestions for further research needs focus on tration, but the level of training is not extensive. extending the synthesis findings to understand similari- Constraints mentioned in a majority of programs ties and differences between public-sector and private- include the availability of free parking for employees sector employers and to enhance the effectiveness of these and lack of attention from the employer. Agencies cit- programs. ing lack of attention typically were displeased with the low priority given to marketing the program to employ- ees within the public agency. PROGRAM GOALS AND IMPLEMENTATION The primary goals cited by the majority of respon- AGENCY ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FARE dents are to increase ridership and build partnerships PROGRAMS for transit. A variety of employer pass programs were reported. Most of these programs are not limited Transit agencies are satisfied with their public employee to public employers but also include private-sector fare programs: 92% of respondents are either very employers. satisfied (57%) or somewhat satisfied (35%). Transit A program champion is helpful and even necessary in agency ratings of program performance are generally establishing a successful program. The champion can positive, with "met expectations" the most common come from the transit agency or the public employer, response for all program elements. Level of partici- and there can be more than one champion. pation and ridership were the elements most likely to In most programs, employees have the option of pay- have exceeded expectations. ing for their share of the program with pretax payroll The primary benefits of these programs to the transit deductions. The public employer pays the entire cost agency include ridership increases, revenue increases, in 12 of the 17 programs that do not include payroll and increased awareness of transit. Primary benefits deduction as an option. In more than one-quarter of all to public employers (as reported by transit agencies) programs, the transit agency matches part of the cost. include provision of a valuable employee benefit, reduc- The most prevalent fare medium is an employee ID tion in the demand and need for parking, and ability to card (which may be readable by the farebox or used as provide transportation options to their employees. a flash pass), followed by a magnetic strip pass. Drawbacks to these programs to the transit agency Employers typically assume the responsibility for day- include administrative complexity, fare abuse, under- to-day program administration (signing up employ- pricing or limits to revenue, and the lack of access